Where Were You?

What do you look forward to when you plan a vacation? If you ask me, I’m there for the culture, colors, language and, of course, food! Sri Lankan cuisine is paradise for sea food lovers and Malayalis alike. Why Malayalis? Because it does seem like a gastronomical extension to the south of India. While the string hoppers and Sambhal (Iddiyappaam and tohayals, if you may) are something I have savoured before, it’s still an experience like never before. Then, there were the largest prawns I ever saw on a plate (I am a recently converted herbivore, so pardon my ignorance). Finally, even though expensive, we had to visit the much acclaimed Ministry of Crab (or Ministry of Magic, as my friend calls it, and she wasn’t too far off there). Unless you have a couple of hours to kill waiting at the doors, it’s best to have reservations. Although I’ve eaten crab once before (a memory I wish could fade), this was my first time deshelling one (which also I outsourced for most part). Another first for me were oysters, which I didn’t believe I could keep down. But (patting my own back) I didn’t make a fool of myself, at least when eating. And to “wash it all down” (I could never fathom why novelists love that phrase), we had some classy Italian white wine and then Lion Lager Beer. But I can’t stop from being a Tam-Bham for too long. Mild teas and watered down coffees are just not my thing! So I had to have the coffee jelly for dessert, which was oh-so-perfect. I am pretty sure, you didn’t miss the part of my not making a fool of myself when eating… so what did I do? Well, I love my cricket like any regular Indian. So, if I am going to visit a place owned in part by Mahela Jayawardene and Kumara Sangakkara, I should at least get to meet one, if not both, right? I bored the ears off my companions with my obsession for the latter, so much that even they secretly prayed I could meet him. But, alas, Dumbledore didn’t show up. That said, the manager Prasanna was a real charmer! So if any one can pass on the message to him at least and my heartfelt compliments to the chef, my work here is done!

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